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Redemption! Last Year’s Runner-Up Chane Kampanatsanyakorn Wins APPT8 Seoul

After being so close to winning last year’s Asia Pacific Poker Tour Seoul Main Event, Chane Kampanatsanyakorn got his revenge in 2014 and became the first player from Thailand to win an APPT Main Event.

He was the last man standing, beating a field of 256 players from all over the world – from Australia, Japan, and Mongolia, to Romania, USA, and Canada. But surprisingly, no South Koreans. They are not allowed to enter the casinos, according to South Korean laws. Only foreigners can play there and this special event wasn’t an exception.

The final day started steaming as 24 competitors gathered up to finish the business in Seoul. It took around six hours to narrow the field to just nine. The unfortunate final table bubble boy was American Jeff Holbrook, who started the day in the lead. He couldn’t win a flip and busted out after his #10s#10c hand was called by #as#kd.

After just a 30-minute break, the final niners were in the heat of the action again. Four players were representing Japan, while three others were North American. Among them was chip leader Samantha Cohen. She had a decent cash of almost $127,000 in last year’s Aussie Million Poker Championship when she finished eighth.

The Japanese were the first to leave the table. Kosaku Akashi ($14,600) and Makoto Yoshimichi ($19,500) finished ninth and eighth, respectively, after running into #ad#as. They both moved all-in in the same hand and couldn’t do anything as Shinya Umano took all their chips with the magic bullets.

Keiichiro Sugimoto ($24,400) followed them after three-betting all-in with #ah#5c. But it was not the initial raiser, Christian Haggart who called him; Sam Cohen jammed his stack, isolating the Japanese with #ad#qd.

The all-in frenzy continued with four double-ups. The fifth all-in, however, was an unlucky one for John Marshall, an American who set his headquarters in South Korea. He raised his entire stack pre-flop with #ad#jc and was called by Winfred Yu, who held a bigger hand, #ac#qs. Sixth place brought Marshall a decent prize of almost $31,000.

Fifth place belonged to Yu ($39,000) after busting out in a #qh#jd vs. #ah#js battle. A few hands later, the last Japanese at the final table, Shinya Umano ($47,000), hit the rail losing his race with #8c#8h. Haggart was the player who eliminated both Yu and Umano.

Three-handed play lasted just ten minutes before the action was paused for a potential deal. Eventually, the deal was struck with chip leader Haggart taking top prize ($132,000), while Kampanatsanyakorn took $114,000 and shortstack Cohen settled for around $82,000.

Of course, there was still some money left ($28,500), plus a HK$100,000 entry to the 2014 ACOP Macau Main Event to play for. Cohen didn’t waste any time and busted out after the deal by the hands of the future winner. And after 90 more minutes, Kampanatsanyakorn eliminated the last player in his way with a special hand, the very best in No-Limit Hold’Em – #ad#ah. “You’re a good man and you played really awesome,” Haggart congratulated the Thai player, according to PokerNews Live Reporting.

Congratulations to Chane Kampanatsanyakorn on winning the 15-hour poker marathon. His place in the 2014 ACOP Main Event is now secured. How well will he handle Macau between November 3 and 8, 2014?

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Florian Gheorghe